‘Luminous Photographs’ was the first real article I wrote for Better Photography. It was published Issue 75 in Autumn 2014. Since then, much has changed in my life and in my photography. Hopefully I have grown a lot in that time. But the importance and attention to luminance really hasn’t at all.
Our sight and deep psychological programming makes us attracted to bright shiny things. Hence our love for that strip of chrome on our vehicles or that shiny gold or gemstone in our jewellery. They jump out at us. Much in the same way that highlights drag us around the photograph in the initial reading of an image.
A luminous object traditionally gives off light, yet many things we perceive as being luminous are actually reflecting light back at us. This is usually the case in photographic prints, although when we use a light box or a digital screen, such as in our phones and computer monitors, we are indeed looking at lights that are shining back at us.
The thing to remember is that these bright areas of our photographs will usually grab our attention and steer us around the photograph. Learning how to see and control a viewer's attention around the image is such an important lesson for us all.
Peter EastwayFAIPP HonFAIPP HonFNZIPP APPL GMPhotogII MNZIPP Editor and Publisher
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